The Bollocks Page: Articles

2. Aromatherapy Times (Journal of the International Federation of Aromatherapists) Summer 2000 Vol 1 No. 46 p16 "Tibetan Oils in Clinical Aromatherapy: Nepalese Calamus" by Jolanta Basnyet.

Once again an article appears in the IFA journal without adequate safety warnings. The article describes uses of Nepalese oil of Acorus calamus including a case study where the client promises to gargle with Calamus oil every day. The oil itself contains varying amounts of the severely toxic and carcinogenic compound -asarone. Diploid forms contain little -asarone, but triploid and tetraploid forms contain considerable amounts (up to 80%). The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) lists the herb as unsafe. IFRA (International Fragrance Research Association) put a limit for cis- and trans- asarone of 0.01% in consumer products. In my opinion any responsible Aromatherapy organisation would advise its members not to use Calamus oil under any circumstances. Again, in my opinion, magazines such as the IFA need a scientific advisor to scrutinise their content so that they offer the best advice to their readers.

(Thanks to Martin Watt for bringing this to my attention).

 

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